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Food security and the oceans (e.g., sustainable fisheries, aquaculture, and livelihoods)

Room: Dochart B     2014-08-17; 15:00 - 16:45

NB: Unless specified otherwise, presentations are 15 minutes in length, and speed presentations are 5 mins in length.

Chair(s)/Moderator(s): Jefferson, Rebecca

C23.1  15:00  Resolving the debate over the global status of marine fisheries. Branch, TA *, University of Washington;

Abstract: The biggest threats to marine ecosystems are overfishing, global warming, and ocean acidification. In the short term, fishing has the greatest effect on marine populations, and understanding the extent of overfishing worldwide is therefore key to conservation. At a broad scale, global catches have peaked and are declining, while fishing effort continues to rise. These patterns imply that marine catches are unlikely to increase further, yet considerable debate remains about the current status of marine fisheries. Analyses based only on catch trends have rated ocean food provision at 25-32%, and suggest that 43-70% of stocks are overfished. Conversely, stock assessments estimate that food provision is at 71-95%, and that 28-33% of stocks are overfished. Additional areas of disagreement include fisheries status in developed vs. developing countries, and in small fisheries vs. large fisheries. Such disagreements have led to confusion among fisheries managers and conservationists about the extent of the overfishing problem. To resolve these disagreements, the different methods were tested with simulated “true” data, revealing substantial bias towards pessimism in the catch-only methods, and suggesting that proposed new fisheries status methods should always be simulation tested before being implemented. Although stock assessments have identified some bright spots where overfishing is under control, overfishing remains the most pressing threat to marine ecosystems.

C23.2  15:15  On the wrong side of the law: Vulnerability of adults in an artisanal marine turtle fishery. Stringell, TB *, University of Exeter; Clerveaux, WV TCI Government; Godley, BJ University of Exeter; Phillips, Q Dept. Environmental & Maritime Affairs, TCI; Ranger, S Marine Conservation Society; Richardson, PB Marine Conservation Society; Sanghera, A Marine Conservation Society; Broderick, AC , University of Exeter;

Abstract: Marine turtles are sensitive to harvesting because of life-cycle traits such as longevity and natal philopatry. The take of nesting females is of conservation concern because they are key to population maintenance and has led to global efforts to protect this life stage. In the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI; a UK Overseas Territory in the Caribbean), current turtle fishery legislation protects nesting turtles on the beach but not in the water, where turtles over a minimum size are subject to legal take. In a two-year study, we undertook nesting beach and in-water surveys, molecular analyses, satellite tracking and collation of fisheries landing data to investigate the populations of marine turtles in TCI and its fishery. Adults were frequently taken in one of the world’s largest legal and artisanal turtle fisheries. We suggest that nesting populations in TCI, which contain genetically unique haplotypes, have greatly diminished since the 1980s, likely as a result of the harvest of adults. Using multiple lines of evidence, we highlight the inadequacies of the fishery regulations and suggest specific amendments, which have now been approved by the TCI government. These measures will protect breeding adults, improve the management of this fishery, and safeguard fisher livelihoods

C23.3  15:30  Mobulidae Fishery in the Bohol Sea: An assessment of its sustainability. Freeman, A. *, Swansea University; Ponzo, A. Physalus NGO; Verdote, D. M. Physalus NGO; Acebes, J. V. The Ruffor Foundation;

Abstract: Concerns are growing over the sustainability of targeted Mobulidae fisheries in the Bohol Sea, Philippines. The fishery operates under an essentially open-access regime, despite the national ban on fishing for Manta birostris. In this study, demographic analysis incorporating life history information on validated length at maturity, reproduction and natural mortality was modelled to gain insight into the population dynamics of Mantas and Mobulas, and to assess their vulnerability to fishing activities. Methods of data collection included daily landing site enumerations, fishers’ interviews, market surveys and tracking vessels with GPS devices. During the 2013 season, a total of 2,271 Mobulidae were landed in Jagna, Bohol. Seasonal trends were evident in all species, with M. birostris mirroring the patterns found occurring in the Mobula spp. Estimates of the sexual maturity of specimens landed found that >50% of the total catch was immature. Sexual dimorphism was found for M. birostris and M. japonica. Some specimens were observed maturing at smaller sizes than previous records have indicated. The relatively high proportion of pregnant females (15%) and high level of immature catch (67% of females; 38% of males) recorded for M. thurstoni indicates that the region may be an important nursery and breeding ground for this species. Local and regional populations of Mobulidae may face extinction risks unless tighter regulations and monitoring programmes are implemented accordingly.

C23.4  15:45  The contribution of subsistence fisheries to marine conservation in indigenous contexts. Mulrennan, ME *, Concordia University;

Abstract: Subsistence or traditional fishing in estuarine and coastal waters persists today as a significant aspect of the well-being and cultural identity of many indigenous groups. It provides a locally valued source of healthy and preferred food, and in many jurisdictions represents a legally protected right under State legislation. Drawing on collaborative research being undertaken with the Cree Nation of Wemindji, northern Quebec, Canada, this paper documents the on-going local importance of subsistence fishing as well as concerns about its maintenance. This includes an examination of harvesting trends and management interventions based on harvesting data collected since 1989 as part of an annual monitoring program associated with subsidization of the fishery. Despite rapid growth of the regional wage economy and the availability of store foods, maintenance of subsistence fishing is a priority that informs local and regional Cree aspirations to establish a marine protected area in the Eeyou Marine Region, with important implications for marine conservation, including the protection of beluga whales and the world’s most southern population of polar bears.

C23.5  16:00  Impacts of nearshore fisheries on monk seals in the main Hawaiian Islands. Gobush, Kathleen Schuyler *, NOAA NMFS PIFSC and Save The Elephants; Henderson, John R. NOAA NMFS PIFSC; Wurth, Tracy NOAA NMFS PIFSC; Becker, Brenda NOAA NMFS PIFSC; Littnan, Charles L. NOAA NMFS PIFSC;

Abstract: We determine the prevalence and characteristics of interactions between nearshore fisheries and the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for the first time. We documented 154 incidents of monk seal hooking and entanglement between 1976 and 2013 from reports by a network of individual volunteers, government agencies, and the general public. Thirty percent (n= 81) of individually identifiable monk seals (n= 271) had at least 1 documented fisheries interaction: 126 hookings and 28 entanglements, 13 of which involved gillnets. Fisheries interactions most frequently involved monk seals aged 2 years or younger. 25% of the monk seals were hooked or entangled repeatedly, and the highest documented incidence occurred on Kauai and Oahu. Fisheries interaction was implicated in 11 monk seal deaths and was the most common known factor of mortality; however, the proportion of monk seals that were alive 1 year after a documented fisheries interaction was relatively high and comparable to previously determined survival rates for the entire subpopulation. More active monitoring of monk seals in the MHI, as well as development of strategies to engage fishers in the region and promote reporting of incidents may lead to an increased understanding of the full scope of the issue and ways to mitigate impacts on both monk seals and fishers.

C23.6  16:15  Co-management of fisheries resources by afro-descendant communities of the Colombian Pacific coast. Herrón, PA *, BIOREDD+ Programa of USAID Colomb; Espinosa, S BIOREDD+ Programa of USAID Colomb; Arcos, AL BIOREDD+ Programa of USAID Colomb; Box, S Smithsonian Institution, Spatial Ecology of the Marine Protected Area Program.;

Abstract: The Pacific coast of Colombia is populated by afro-descendant communities that collectively own their lands as Community Councils. This legal title does not extend into the marine area despite fishing being an essential livelihood for more than 11,000 families. As Colombia addresses a previous lack of clear marine management policy there is growing interest in co-management strategies that empower local communities to extend their management rights into near shore waters. We present a case study of building co-management frameworks involving 12 Community Councils, nearly 500 fishers and 60 communities spread across 380 km of coastline. With a participatory management approach, the Program supported the process of designing and implementing Responsible Fisheries Agreements. To assess compliance with agreements, community monitoring and enforcement schemes were implemented with support of Colombian fisheries authorities. In parallel an incentive program was developed to link fisher groups to emerging markets that add value for social and environmental sustainability of fisheries. Results show that strengthening local capacity for organization and decision making, bridging communities together to form management units and providing market based incentives for responsible fishing enables fishers to be part of co-management efforts and provides the foundation for an effective strategy for conservation and management of fisheries resources in the Colombian Pacific.

C23.7  16:30  Joined up whiting - Making marine data more accessible. . Seeley, B *, Marine Biological Association; Cotton, D MEDIN; Lear, B Marine Biological Assocation; Postlethwaite, C. MEDIN; Hughes, E. Marine Biological Assocation;

Abstract: The Marine Environmental and Data Information Network was established to work towards the data panacea of \'collect once, use many times\'. MEDIN is an open partnership with over 30 partners across the statutory, commercial and academic sector. MEDIN has been working to create a national data flow of standardized marine data to thematic UK Data Archive Centres across all the marine sectors. We look at the challenges faced in setting up a holistic data flow, in creating standardized data guidelines, linking with EU data initiatives and in the specific challenges of licensing data for reuse and in utilizing socioeconomic and public sightings/citizen science data. We look at the tools we have created to help people publicize and standardize data and focus on how the academic sector can tap into this flow of marine data. We examine the new ways of publicizing academic data, including publishing citable datasets to make research data more available to help \'make marine science matter\' and finish by looking at the power of using data from disparate surveys to answer marine conservation questions and how academic data can feed into conservation objectives and marine spatial planning.

C23.8  16:45  Marine Conservation Benefits of the FAO’s Guidelines on Small-scale Fisheries. Charles, Anthony *, Saint Mary's University;

Abstract: The “Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries”, developed by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), are of truly global importance. First, they focus on a marine activity that is crucial worldwide to coastal livelihoods, community well-being, food security and poverty reduction, but which – until recently – has not received the scientific and governance attention it deserves. The Guidelines provide this attention, and can be expected to play a key role in improving the well-being of millions of people worldwide. Second, the Guidelines are crucial from a marine conservation perspective. They are rooted in the FAO’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, they reflect best practices of modern fishery science and governance, including sustainability and resilience considerations, integrated and adaptive management, the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries, and compatibility with global commitments including the Convention on Biological Diversity. This presentation provides an update on the status of the Guidelines, from a nongovernmental perspective, and highlights key aspects in the Guidelines relevant to fishery sustainability and conservation, including use rights and co-management, and linkages across governance sectors, marine use sectors and the fishery value chain. Also considered are the information needs of small-scale fisheries, which are typically broader than in industrial fisheries, and often to be met using fisher and indigenous knowledge.

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